Report: Colin Kaepernick watched commercial premiere at Nike HQ
Colin Kaepernick reportedly watched the television premiere of his new Nike commercial on Thursday night at the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
The commercial, featuring Kaepernick along with footage of LeBron James and Serena Williams, debuted on NBC during Thursday’s nationally televised NFL kickoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons.
Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt pic.twitter.com/x5TnU7Z51i
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 5, 2018
A source familiar with the situation confirmed Kaepernick’s presence at the event at Nike HQ. The source spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.
Some individuals in attendance reportedly documented Kaepernick in attendance on social media, posting footage of the unemployed quarterback and social activist addressing the crowd.
“You have to think beyond what you see around you,” said Kaepernick, who hasn’t spoken to the media publicly since opting out of his contract with San Francisco and becoming a free agent in 2017.
“You have to see the future that you believe in and that you want not just for yourself but all the people you see globally,” he said.
Kaepernick was named the spokesperson for Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign as part of the slogan’s 30th anniversary.
Several high-profile athletes, including former college teammate and current Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, LeBron James and Tom Brady, showed support for Nike and Kaepernick amid a growing backlash against the new ad.
There have been outspoken critics as well who have called out Nike for aligning itself with Kaepernick, who became a polarizing figure thanks to his role in launching the national anthem protest movement in the NFL. There have been calls for boycotts and some individuals have taken to burning their Nike gear, among other acts.
President Donald Trump, among the most outspoken critics of the NFL amid the anthem protest controversy, indicated on Tuesday Nike’s Kaepernick ad sends a “terrible message.” The NFL also issued a statement in which the league states the “social justice issues” raised by Kaepernick, as well as other athletes, “deserve our attention and action.”
There were no apparent displays of protest by players during the anthem ahead of Thursday night’s game.